Not Fixed

Flexible Talent.

With our economy having shifted even more away from manufacturing and to services, it reinforces that talent has been a driver of economic growth. Yet, a significant problem companies and workers face is the need for more flexibility—companies do not always need full-time headcount to accomplish their goals, nor do they have the cash flow to bring them on year-round; and workers need more flexibility to accommodate work and family demands. New models may finally solve these needs.

  • The Institute for the Future (IFTF) in its Future Work Skills 2020 forecast suggests that we will need to manage flexible workforces around the globe. It is not uncommon today to hear of companies based in the U.S. that have significant workforces abroad that have to be motivated and managed from afar.
  • Or, take the likes of flexible workforce companies such as Odesk and Elance, which merged this year, that allow managers to hire flexible talent around the globe. The IFTF notes how managers will have to develop the skill set to manage such remote, part-time workers—how does one motivate and ensure work gets completed with such a dynamic?
  • Or take Jody Miller who founded the Business Talent Group. Her company manages a fleet of consultants who work more flexible hours, as their schedule allows. Within her own company and with her clients, she fits the person’s schedule to a reasonable project and job function. She also advises companies to put together small, temporary teams to tackle discontinuous business projects that are difficult for full-time staff to take on since they are focused on day-to-day operations.

Industry Forecast: Help us solve the talent problem—helping companies find the right workers for their needs and helping workers find work that fits their skills and their life.


 

Sources:

Goldman, Alex. “3 New Invaluable Work Skills for 2018,” Institute for the Future, November 24, 2014.

Kessler, Sarah. “People Can Work In All New Ways,” Fast Company, September 9, 2014.

Martin, Roger. “When Talent Started Driving Economic Growth,” Harvard Business Review, September 30, 2014.

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